Could you be affected by the PIP rate increases in 2013? That will be the
reality for many insured drivers in Florida. After reviewing the first
round of filings submitted by insurers to the state's Office of Insurance
Regulation it appears most are increasing their PIP rates, despite the
new legislation pushed by Gov. Rick Scott this spring.
At least half of the first half-dozen filings approved by Florida regulators
show an increase in PIP rates up to 26.3 percent. Not the anticipated
result of the Governor's legislation, which was supposed to lower
auto insurance rates after sharp reductions in personal injury protection
benefits. Some did see this coming however, such as Bill Newton, executive
director of the Florida Consumer Action Network, who says, "We told
you so." He states, "Bottom line, consumers have lost benefits
and many will see premium increases, not decreases."
Proponents of Gov. Scott's legislation claimed it would lower costs
for drivers by cracking down on up to $1 billion in fraud. But critics
including Newton said the law was just a favor for insurers, who will
still collect premiums for a state mandated $10,000 PIP coverage, but
must pay fewer benefits. The law eliminates massage and acupuncture and
limits non-emergency care to $2,500.
Those with approved PIP increases include Florida Farm Bureau (8 percent),
MGA Insurance (3.9 percent), and Agency Insurance (26.3 percent).
Those with decreases include United Fire and Casualty (15.2 percent), Hartfod
Insurance of the Midwest (15.2 percent for AARP renewals only), and Philadelphia
Indemnity (10 percent for collector vehicles).
Given the upcoming PIP changes, it's important that every Florida driver
review their policies to see how they will be affected. If you or someone
you know is injured in an accident you'll want to have the most up-to-date
information regarding the limits of your insurance coverage before you
need treatment. Please contact us at the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb
if you have questions about what to do after an automobile accident.